Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mom catches son with...AK-47

(Global National with files from Canadian) Most moms catch their kids with cigarettes, dirty magazines, or trying to sneak out of the house. Not this mom. A Toronto woman is being praised by police Thursday for turning in her son, after finding a fully loaded Avtomat Kalašnikov-47 machine-gun sitting atop his bedroom pillow, along with an additional magazine full of bullets.

I've never read stories like that over here in West Europe. In Canada and the USA it appears to be news. In West Africa it's daily practice. Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo all have suffered greatly from violent conflicts in recent years. Many children carrying arms have died.

I believe that all adults have a responsibility to protect children from gun-related deaths and injuries.

Some USA states have CAP (Child Access Prevention) Laws which allow prosecutors to charge irresponsible gun owners who leave guns unlocked and that action causes harm to anyone. Sadly most of the pro-gun "representatives" have either made those laws extremely inefective or they had blocked the enacting of those laws altogether.

“We do not accept the threat these weapons pose to Canadians,” said the Prime Minister. “To make our communities safer we should ban handguns outright.

I don't know enough about the US Brady bill or the second amendments but Canadians banning guns seems like a good thing to do.


Pirate said...

it is sad that many places in the world treat children as chattel and tools of the adult's terror. Until democracy covers the world and the word of love is the language we will continue seeing sich horror.

DA said...

Too sad indeed Pirate, but we won't give up positive thinkin'

Blogger formerly known as JBlue said...

I favor legislation that makes you responsible for your weapon, if you choose to own one, but I'd probably be shot on sight if I admitted that in a public forum here in the U.S. People say to me, "What if you're a victim of burglary, and your gun is stolen?" To which I say that you make a police report and the gun is documented as stolen. If you have children in your house, your weapons should be secured. Only a fool would allow a child access to a weapon. It angers me every time I hear of a child gaining access to a gun and accidentally shooting another child, which happens frequently around here.

Granny said...

I'd have to check to make sure but I think the idiots in the current administration here let the Brady bill expire.

I remember writing letters imploring Congress to save it.

Granny said...

Here's one link to the Brady bill expiration. There are lots more.

Shame on us.

Rachael Byrnes said...

People are full of fear and buy guns to protect themselves. Yet life is full of things to fear which people don't do anything about. How many of the people who own guns get into the car each day and fill their lungs with smog from the freeway reminding themselves that the chances of having a car accident (or getting cancer from the smog) are far greater than someone robbing thier house. Life is full of things to be afraid of but we can't control everything! Therefore, I think people should just enjoy life, accept the things they can't control, get to know their neighbours instead of buying guns, and stop buying junk food for thier kids (which might save them from premature death)

Gary said...

Guns and gun laws are being used as political fodder in our current federal election in Canada. Most Canadians support controls over guns (for hunting etc) and banning of handguns. AK 47s are of course, already illegal. There is an issue of a lot of guns coming in from the US, where everything you can shoot is pretty much legal somewhere.

Vee said...

This woman in Toronto (my city) is being lauded (rightly so) because we Torontonians are scared to walk out these days. We've had an abnormal rise in gun-violence over the past year and it's scary because you can now get shot while you're simply out shopping. A 15 year old girl was shot and killed while she was out on Boxing Day, minding her own business, shopping. So we're on high alert re: guns.

Guns in the hands of children is wrong on every level. But guns in the hands of some trigger happy adults is just stupid. I hope we're able to make this world a safer place but every day it seems like the access to things dangerous is becoming much easier. While banning of guns and fear of them is being instilled into us especially during the campaign process, I hope one of our soon-to-be-leader is actually able to do something about it.

DA said...

Thanks for commenting JulianB, it is not easy for me to understand why anyone would like to own a gun but then again I didn't grow up over there.

I checked your links Granny, indeed the Brady bill expired. Thank you for pointing out. As I read carefully it doesn't mather that much anyway. That's too bad..

Well put Rachael, I couldn't agree more on that. I think there's a lot to be influenced but little to be controlled as well.

Political gun fodder hopefully keeps people sharp Gary. I can't imagine why anyone would like to hunt an animal anyway.

That's a sad example you just gave Vee. 'Must be a lot of money going around in weapons industry I guess.

Progressive Traditionalist said...

The Brady Bill is largely a matter of political theater. It regulates the legal sale of firearms, while the black market is ever-greater and less expensive.

There has been a movement to ban assault rifles and certain types of ammunition, but much of this has been undone in recent years. Laws vary greatly from state to state. Concealed carry permits have become in vogue.

A pistol is much different than a rifle, and a shotgun is different as well. In many rural areas, the shotgun is the rule of law, as a direct correlation of the response time of the authorities.

To help you understand this better, might I draw your attention to the town of Monument, New Mexico. It is found in the lower southeast corner of the state. Monument has no standing police force. A state trooper drives through once a week, usually on a Sunday; and that is the full extent of patrol activity in Monument.

Now, everyone there has a shotgun in the house, most more than one, but there is usually one that is kept loaded. The houses that are close to the road usually keep a loaded shotgun behind the front door at night, and the custom is to answer the door with the barrel behind it.

Urbanites have different concerns; but it seems to me that a shotgun is really the only firearm that could be defended by issues of protection of person or property.

Progressive Traditionalist said...

Not to undermine Southern hospitality, mind you.
I suppose you could say that hospitality feels a bit more like giving when you're negotiating from a strong bargaining position.

DA said...

Thanks for your exhaustive comment PT. I still wonder what the real problem is. Is it the absense of Police? Would more cops on the streets be of aid and hence lower gun-related accidents?

Tina said...

I live in a township on the edge of the suburbs and our sheriff's force has been severely cut due to budget cuts. If you do call the sheriff, it could be several hrs before anyone shows up. My husband travels back and forth from Pennsylvania and Ohio every single day, so my 3 yr old daughter and I are home alone plenty.
We own two 9mm handguns (they all have safety locks on them and are kept in a secure place that my kiddo has no access to) and 1 shotgun that my husband has owned since he was a child (he grew up on a farm).
Does owning a gun make me feel safer? Yes. But knowing how to use a gun, safely taking care of a gun, and preventing my child from having access to these firearms makes me feel safest of all. I would hate to have to use a gun, but I do know how to use one and have practiced at the shooting range so that I would feel comfortable with handling a gun if I had to because if my home were to be invaded, I would do anything I had to in order to protect my child.

Progressive Traditionalist said...

I think more police would have more of an impact in urban areas, but even then other issues, like transiency, must be taken into account.
Small arms dealers must be greater regulated. It's ridiculously easy to register as one, and this is how many of the guns get to militia groups, gangs, and the like.

Sinkchicken said...

Really enjoy your site. Will put a link to it on my site.

Funny thing, I used to be adamantly opposed to gun use/gun ownership, and hunting, but I'm a bit more flexible on the issue now. My father has hunted, well, ever since I knew him, so all my life and he still does. Now, though I myself could not do this, I know for a fact that he is much closer to and "in touch with" the idea of taking an animal life for food than most of us will ever be (buying our meat all nicely packaged and relatively bloodless, with no chase, no cries, no fear, no twitches and entrails, etc). I became a vegetarian the day I realised that I can't stand the sight of meat being "made" and that I could not "make" it myself, that I was so disconnected from the act of taking an animal life. It made me feel unworthy of eating it, that I was worse than any hunter for hiding the fact from myself that another organism had died so that I could live and that most likely it lived all it's life in a factory-type situation with little or no freedom, a meaningless, product-like existence. Yes, I have met irresponsible and irreverent hunters, the stereotypical ones that give all others a bad name but my father and others like him do not fit neatly into this category. He obeys all the regulations, he supports wildlife preservation societies, actively, not just with donations, he understands much more than most city dwellers do what goes on out there in nature and loves it in ways few of us could ever really understand from our homes and our nature documentary programs on Discovery. Sometimes I envy him his ability to do this. And consider this: many organizations that work hard and constantly to protect wild areas are doing so because of the interests of people such as hunters have to preserve them. Banning these activities outright may actually make it harder to justify preserving these areas, not to mention losing the energy of those who give their time and their immediate response to keeping developers out of them.

Anyway, I'm not "pro-gun", I just know this is not a black and white issue and that sometimes our opinions on such issues need to be examined in the light of where we are speakign from, what kind of a life we lead (most of us, city dwelling/cut off from nature) and realise how it shapes our view of such things.

Another more recent thing that made me go hmmmmm....on CBC radio the other day they had a report on the divide that is widening between the rural and urban communities of Canada. And the issue of gun registration came up and farmers said for them it was a perfect example of how urban Canadians just didn't understand the rural ones. How it was easier for the politicians to dismiss them and champion gun control (a popular urban value) as a convenient election campaign issue even though very few urban people had ever considered the roll of a firearm in rural life (I know I hadn't). The interviewee said he'd been handling firearms for work on the family farm since he was 8 years old and that taking away their rights to use them was another way at chipping away at a Canadian culture that helped build the nation, undervaluing them and helping dig their grave.

That's my two cents. I do however see no reason whatsoever for someone in a city to own any sort of firearm, or even a crossbow for that matter.

Progressive Traditionalist said...

You can be reasonably assured, walking down a city sidewalk, that you will not happen upon a rattlesnake; but this is not uncommon in rural areas.
Still, there is too much gun crime in the cities, and almost always the gun involved is a pistol.

btw, the AK-47 sold in the states is not fully automatic. The conversion kit (illegal in some states) must be purchased separately.

DA said...

Thank you Tina, Prog.Trad and Sinkchicken for your comprehensive responses. I do understand the feeling of protecting oneself when in rural areas now. I think I would act the same indeed. Let's hope good education and public relations will reduce gun related accidents..

Elizabeth Green said...

The city I live in has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the US. Someone gets shot to death here almost every day. I have never owned a gun, but most people in the South do, and they resent gun control efforts.

Many of the shootings here are carried out by people who are under the legal age to own weapons, happen in schools or on the way to and from school, or are attacks on police officers.

Because of the nature of my work (pharmacy involving narcotics such as morphine), I work in a building guarded by an armed city policeman. It is also guarded by a series of controlled access points requiring different access keys. People would easily kill me to have access to these drugs. However, I have never felt the need to own a weapon or felt scared at my place of business.

Most people in this area think I am crazy because I drive into the city every day and work with all those narcotics and don't have a weapon. I think if someone wants to kill me, they will do it anyway, even if I give them the drugs. I feel that if I am armed, I am adding fuel to the fire. I wouldn't worry about people like me having guns, but it's too easy for weapons to fall into the hands of those who wish to do others harm or into the hands of those who could accidentally hurt themselves.

In regard to assault rifles, the current administration, in its "wisdom" has let the federal ban on sales of assault weapons expire, so any 12 year old can get an Uzi without too much trouble. There are supposed to be background checks, etc, but I think in practice that system doesn't work very well.

JEFM said...

Im not sure democracy is the best vehicule to cover the world with love ... might be the best at hand, but not the best ... you know.


JEFM said...

I own a gun, and I am VERY responsible about it. Where I am at, it's a necessary item, as much as toothpaste (not kidding) because life's worth so little here and because half the time the convicted killer is a cop (yikes).

However ... an AK-47, what the hell ..?

My instructor told me once he recommended best a "revolver" (the typical 6 shot cowboy gun) as a defense weapon. Someone in the class asked him, "what if you run out of bullets?".

He said: "Well, if you are in trouble and need more than 6 shots, just what type of trouble do you get into son!?".

I guess you can see my point Dimitri.